Engine Bay Refresh question?

I am trying to wrap up the refresh job on my engine bay. I am not doing a total restoration project on this car, just trying to clean it up and restore what needs it. With that said it has come along nicely and looks 100% better than it did. I have a couple questions I wanted input on from the experts out there.
I am not sure what you call the big black blob on the underside of the hood, the black fiber hood thing. Mine was pretty ratty but mostly intact.
Do many people keep this original or replace this or just trash it. I am leaning on trashing it. I like the clean look of what the new paint job will bring to the hood.
Secondly, I have the original heat shield and snorkle and air cleaner and lid. The lower heat shield part is pretty bad, the holes are broken for attaching it to the block side. I could repair it and repaint it to match the new paint job I did on the rest of the air cleaner parts. Or is that piece easier to find a suitable replacement? I saw recently someone found a good deal on Ebay for some of those parts. I have the stock 302 blue paint.
Where should the ignition coil be mounted? Mine came mounted to the driver side of the distributor. I’ve seen pics of them mounted on the other side.
This pic was taken before I added the new battery cables, Master Cylinder, new shocks, etc. Guess I need a newer one. :sunglasses:


I don’t know about the 302 but those parts are hard to find and ussally expensive. If you can repair your old ones that would be a good idea.Looks good.

The official name is “Hood Blanket”. The original is molded to the hood and the aftermarket is flat. You don’t want the aftermarket one. Either restore the original or go without one. I like seeing Cougars with their original blanket intact as it’s one of the first items to deteriorate and be missing. Show us a picture of the blanket so we can see what kind of shape it’s in. Then we can guide you how to restore it or toss it if it can’t be saved.
If you can repair your original heat shield. Get a used one from somebody or one of the Cougar vendors. Should be a easy part to find used. I don’t think a repo heat shield is available for the regular 302.
You ignition coil should be mounted horizontal on the p-side in front of the carburetor. Also should have the engine ID tag attached to the coil bracket. if your ID tag is missing you can get a reproduction one from Marti Autoworks. Paint the coil top yellow so it looks stock.

Couple other things: The new repo washer tank doesn’t have the Mercury head on the fill lid. Remove the lid from your old tank and Install it on the new one. Paint the front shocks black. Remove the black over-spray on the firewall from painting the export braces. Buy the correct radiator cap.
What you have done so far looks good :thumbup:

People don’t like the hood blanket because it holds heat in the engine bay. But if you’re doing a concours restoration you need one. From what I’ve seen nice ones are almost impossible to find. I’ve been looking for one myself.

Thank you for your valuable input. I will lay out my old Hood Blanket and take a photo of it today and post it later tonight. I would be interested in finding out if it was repairable or not. I think I can repair my original heat shield so will probably do that as that is the way I was leaning.
So you have confirmed what I suspected on the coil. Do I use the original bracket that is holding it now and just change positions?
Funny you mentioned the washer tank cap as yesterday while cleaning up i found my old one and removed the cap and threw away the broken tank.
So I was glad I did that to add back in. I am shooting for a nice looking mostly stock engine bay so the details are important to me. It will not be a concours level build. The paint job is not yet completed as i will be repainting the car eventually but yes will clean off any black on gold for now.

Much thanks,


Forgot to mention I did recall an ID tag when I replaced the oil dipstick tube. I believe I found it on that bolt that holds the tube and think you can see part of it in the pic. So I should remove that and add it to the coil holder bolt, correct?


Looking good! A couple other ideas - one of the heater hoses should route through the bracket next to your carb choke. I forget which one.

Another nice touch is this faux Autolite battery cover. A little pricey for what it is, but you can reuse it forever as long as you get flat-top batteries. Then there’s this decal that’s a nice little touch, goes on the apron next to the battery.

Andrew, thank you for the suggestions. I like them.
I forgot I had ordered some new decals for a few things in the engine bay but did not see the one for the battery. Should I leave the original one that is on the passenger shock tower? It is a little messed up and I have a nice new one of those. I have one for the top of the Fam shroud and one for the air cleaner too too.
I appreciate all your fine photography!


All the suggestions so far were on my list over the years. Every winter I always seem to find more I can do. One thing I did last year was replace the body colored painted fender bolts and removed the black paint from the shock tower and hood latch bolts. So you’re on the right track and what you’ve done looks great. Here’s a pic of my engine bay when I bought my car and one that I took in the spring of this year:

Looking great. I’ve found it’s best (as an artist) to have a color scheme. Try to keep your pallet limited to 3 colors. I went with the Ford Blue, Black, and Chrome.

But there’s always a bit of red and white I still need to eliminate.

You’re doing a great job.

Mike, great share, really helps seeing someone else’s before and after. I have purchased all new hardware and had the same idea of having all new whiney silver bolts for the fenders. Already did the shock towers. Yours looks awesome.


What a great looking engine bay! I totally agree with your color opinion. I am doing black, Ford blue, and natural metal tones. I keep looking at my new red positive battery cable. Is it acceptable to be black too? I know the stock coil should have a yellow top but don’t want yellow in there. Prefer it black for the reason you described. Also, someone said I need the correct cap for the radiator. I think the one on there was the original. How can I confirm that?

Much thanks,

Definitely not the original. They used a plain screw on cap.

The original radiator cap would be marked AUTOLITE and would not have that flip up lever on it.

Randy Goodling
CCOA #95

Thanks. I’ve been wondering that too (about the red wires). I think I’m tempted to wrap them in black tape or paint them. But I don’t know if it’s going too far.

Definitely painting the window washer reservoir was something that made a big difference.

Good luck.

That is a cool looking engine bay. Nicely done!

What color is your car? Nordic Blue??
I am thinking of painting mine that color.
Is yours original or repaint?

Thanks ,

Thanks Randy, I was hoping you’d respond.
I just assumed it was original so one more detail i can add. Are the OE M caps available? I have not checked around for those yet.

Brian, Yes Nordic Blue, repainted in 1994 by a previous owner who gave me some history on my car. The paint is showing it’s age and has many road chips but that’s OK with me. I put just over 4000 miles on her this year and have been averaging about 3000 since I purchased her in 2011. Maybe sometime down the road I’ll repaint but that first road chip will kill me. She looks great from a little distance but will never win a Best Paint award. :laughing:

Add more carburetors and people will tend to not look at anything else in the engine bay.